An easy win was just what we all needed after that horrific series in Philly. Tim Hudson gives up five homers all season and the Mets promptly smack two to get out to a big lead and John Maine gives the gift of innings by going seven and allowing one earned run while striking out eight.
Marlon came up big swinging on the first pitch in the top of the ninth to break the game wide open with a bases clearing double. Heilman lowered his ERA to 3.29 and has a 2.52 ERA since the break.
Of course it is not all perfect as the Phillies kept pace and won and remained two games back. Taking this Braves series is huge for many obvious reasons but the Mets are going to need a little help to create some breathing room and it looks as though they are going to get a boost from Pedro Martinez who is now slated to start on Monday.
Pedro and the addition of all the call-ups to help alleviate some of the strain on the bullpen are all excellent things. One thing that has kind of irked me was that it seems as though Phil Humber is only getting the call to the bigs because of his last two starts. Really? I know he has been up and down all year, but if they are basing any call up on their last two starts that is kind of perplexing.
They should be calling him up because he is a hard thrower who can potentially have a big impact out of the bullpen. With not many relievers that any of us implicitly trust and way to many appearances by Guillermo Mota, it would seem the Mets should be anxious to be able to add as many arms that can help.
At this point, Mota would be a useless addition to the post season roster unless something drastically changes for him. It is not that his stuff looks bad as we have all discussed before, but his pitch selection has been flat out horrendous. The other day when he got Howard to swing and miss badly on two outside change ups, wouldn't it stand to reason to give him another? Up 1 and 2 on Howard he gives him meatball of a fastball on the outer half and it gets destroyed.
Whomever's fault his pitch selection is needs to start doing a better job. But since I do not anticipate that happening, Mota needs to take a backseat to Humber or whomever else so the Mets can see who can contribute meaningfully to this team down the stretch and into the playoffs. Right now, only Feliciano, Heilman, Wagner, and Smith (if his bicep tendinitis actually turns out to be bicep tendinitis) would get the nod from me to pitch in the playoffs and Willie needs to utilize September to figuring out what other reliever or two will be able to help this team.
Of course the Mets will have a starter headed to the pen come playoff time barring any injuries, but I would expect two more to make the team and one of them possibly being Shoe as a left handed specialist and one more. One place the Mets could feel comfortable is the bench. With four really good hitters off the bench and a balanced four hitters, the Mets bench depth is second to none.
It is clear the Mets have the most well rounded team on paper, but we have all been reading a lot about the complacency of this team. It is though they think they are going to waltz in September without incident, but it is time they wake up and start playing with more urgency. The Phillies are and there are two teams out West that might have something to say about the Wild Card coming out of the East.
Heck with this, the best comment of any commentator of the day was Kay, who said something about Joba Chamberlain like this, and I am paraphrasing, "there is this NEW stat out there that a lot of numbers guys follow nowadays, called WHIP".
Oh my, poor Michael.
And Rob - please - the fact that Suzyn Waldman is our radio broadcaster more than "makes up" for the quality in NY.
The Yankees have some decent color commentators on the YES network, but their play by play guys on the TV and radio are horrific and Waldman is very irritating.
On Thursday I went out to imbibe some delicious alcoholic beverages. My friend gets a text from a girl he had met on Wednesday which read something like this:
You are awesome! For Labor day, BBQ or Central Park perhaps?
Note the enthusiasm she exhibits in regards to him as a person. So I ask, "can I text her back"? He mistakenly agrees to my proposal and reply is the following:
Sure! You bring the rubbers and I'll bring the pain!
"You don't know until you get there," Rollins said. "We've been good the last couple of years. We are in it a lot earlier this year than the past. But until you win that one big game, nothing has changed. We know we are never out of a game if we get a good pitching performance.
"When it comes down to the seventh, eighth, ninth inning, a team has to put us away. It isn't like we're just going to walk away because they have a two-, three- or four-run lead. But until you get over the proverbial [playoff] hump, nothing has changed."
Kirby: (ny, ny): Keith- love your work. You and Neyer are the best. Who's YOUR choice for NL MVP as of right now? And who do you think the BBWAA will ultimately select at season's end? David Wright has been absolutely silly of late.
SportsNation : (2:10 PM ET ) Wright would probably be my choice, given his numbers and his defensive value. Hanley Ramirez is having a better overall season at the plate, but he's a butcher on D, and anyway he has no realistic chance because they're in last.
D Wright getting some love....and now K Law gets on my good side by saying what I've been saying for a looooong time.
Stephen (East Greenbush, NY): Keith, I submitted this prior to the beginning of the chat, so I'll submit it (only!) one more time: , how long can a manager stick with his "closer" - til you fall out of first place? Wagner's last four appearances look like this: 4.1 IP, 11 H, 7 ER, ERA of 14.54, and three blown saves. The only one he didn't blow was a non-save 4-inning lead. Should Randolph keep running him out there?
SportsNation Keith Law: (2:28 PM ET ) Yesterday really befuddled me. When was the last time Wagner got six outs? Is that really the day to try it out, especially with him struggling to command his fastball? Why leave Heilman to rot in the pen? I thought Willie was a good pen manager last year, but it's becoming clear that he's only a good pen manager when he has a good pen.
Maybe I'm not so stupid?
"From 85 to 88, if I have command of my pitches I'll get anybody out. I wouldn't hesitate to say that. There's going to be days that you're going to be lit up, but those are the days that you're not making pitches, regardless of how hard you're throwing."
"[Pelfrey] has pitched and has a little bit of comfort for getting ready for a start," Randolph said. "We're still in a pennant race."
I'm not making that up. He might come out and pitch well and throw strikes while attacking hitters and not paint corners. Anything is possible, but this entire myth that young kids cannot step up is irritating. If you do not give a young kid a chance to fail, how exactly do you know he cannot succeed? Instead, you would rather go with a known quantity that you will put you at a competitive disadvantage? Perplexing. I guess we know why Brian Lawrence got so many chances.